I’ve been eyeing my TBR in preparation of TBR Day which is next Wednesday. On that day, a group of bloggers are going to post reviews of books from their TBR Pile on the same Wednesday of each month. If you’re interested in participating, details can be found here. (There are incentives!)
So I’ve been looking at my TBR and some of the books in there have been buried for so long that I really have no idea when I acquired the book much less why I acquired the book to read. These and maybe the the review coming up on Friday are the ones I decided to reject for full reviews so just a pithy comment or two (hopefully).
You know when someone has a good joke and doesn’t expand upon it and just tries to stretch this same joke as long as they can til it stopped being funny, oh about twenty minuted ago? Well, that’s Rules of Engagement (2004) by Kathryn Caskie in a nutshell. In this specific instance, playing on the saying “All’s fair in love and war.” Caskie takes the cute idea of using a military text as a how-to manual for getting engaged and stretches it, stretches it . . . wait for it . . . and stretches it some more until she gets to the requisite 300 pages. And the author barely makes that 300 pages mark. It leads to an arduous read because other than the amusing epigrams from the military text that starts each chapters, this novel is so paper-thin. The hero, the heroine, the two aunts and the basic plot are all cardboard cutouts. No historical atmosphere, of course (not that I was expecting any). Only that one good germ of an idea and it’s not enough. Grade: C-
A bronzed, virile dude (in cloudy England, of course) with gem-hued striking orbs. A feisty heiress. An oily villain metaphorically twirling his mustache. A captive/captor romance. Rapine and murder on a pirate ship. The hero being larger than life and having several identities throughout the novel. H/H going through an endless cycle of separations and reunions. These are all hallmarks of those classic old skool bodice ripper from the 1970s so I kept checking the copyright date and was continuously surprised that Nothing but Velvet by Kat Martin was published in 1997. I guess there are subtle touches that tell me that it’s from 1997. The heroine isnt raped for one, not even by the hero. The violence on the pirate ship is told in flashback. Grade: C
Also found on Mt TBR is the spinoff of the previous book featuring the the hero’s best friend, Lucien — Silk and Steel. This one started off much more interestingly with the Heroine escaping from an asylum. Heroine’s Evil Uncle had put her there to take control of her fortune. I find hystericals set against an asylum backdrop riveting so I was initially engrossed. Then Lucien finds Heroine hiding in his coach and almost the first thing he notices about her are her pert, small breasts. When he is not losing against Evil Uncle, all Lucien does is think, dream, ogle, touch, and fondle Heroine’s pert. small. breasts. For the rest of the demn novel. I am not exaggerating about this: I was actually going to count how many times Heroine’s pert. small. breasts. were mentioned as proof but it turned out to be as futile as trying to count how many times the f-word is said in Scarface or The Departed. Thanks for the mammaries but no thanks. Grade: C